Self, Betrayed


I walked right by

a man in pain;

suffering from the heat of the day.


He was perched on a sidewalk

on the far side of the grocery store

halfway shaded, halfway sunned.


It was easily ninety-nine degrees that day;

the type of heat dead chickens

must feel once tucked inside

the oven; the kind of heat

that drives grown men to rage.


He didn’t see me pass by,

bags chocked full of

foods and drinks; he

was rather crying, curled

up against the wall, eyes

and arms reaching out

to no one; muttering,

sobbing quietly under his breath.


It was the kind of scene

that speaks of its essence in an instant;


and the moment I laid

my eyes on him, my

spirit collapsed inside me…


… and I walked by …

2 thoughts on “Self, Betrayed

    1. Thanks Lisa. Not knowing what to do, needing to do something and not doing anything was exactly how it felt seeing that man. It’s one of those scenes that stays with you in your conscience, always there, always questioning “who are you, what do you stand for, why don’t you care.”

      Hopefully, I’ll have the courage to do what my heart tells me should I ever enter a scene like this again.

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